Tuesday, November 27, 2007

December 1 is World AIDS Day

Saturday, December 1, 2007 is World AIDS Day. This will be a time to remember those who have passed on, but just as important - this is a time of awareness about the impact AIDS has across the world and the "leadership" potential everyone has to continue the fight against this disease. The World AIDS Campaign and many other organizations will recognize this day with events across the world.

The University of Texas at San Antonio has planned events to be held at the 1604 campus on Wednesday, November 28 and at the Downtown campus on Thursday, November 29. For more information, please see the article on the UTSA Today website.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Our day to remember - National Transgender Day of Remembrance

The 9th Annual National Transgender Day of Remembrance was celebrated on campuses and cities across the United States today. There are many ways that people can choose to remember, and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has two posts on their blog to commemorate this day of awareness about the hatred and violence that has led to the death of so many transgender people.

This link will point you to an announcement of an event that HRC participated in, as well as two videos from transgender ministers.

As well, the HRC blog includes this piece by a transsexual Latino man.

Other national organizations such as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Task Force (NGLTF) posted messages to honor transgender persons no longer with us.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

GLAAD Media Fellowships 2008

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GLAAD, has announced fellowship opportunities for the upcoming year and the deadline to apply is fast approaching!

As an opportunity for current undergraduate, graduate or recently graduated college and university students, being a GLAAD Media Fellow allows you to spend January 7 - December 31, 2008 in either Los Angeles or New York gaining experience in media activism related to one of the following areas:

Transgender Advocacy Initiatives
Spanish-Language Media Awards
Religion, Faith and Values Media
Young Adult Program
Sports Media
Media Programs
Media Advocacy and Accuracy
Communities of African Descent
Communications Research

2008 GLAAD Fellowships run from January 7, 2008 through December 31, 2008. GLAAD Media Fellows are paid a monthly stipend of $1600. GLAAD Media Fellows are responsible for their own housing and living expenses.

For more information, visit GLAAD: Fellowship Opportunities.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A historic moment for the GLB community

Today provided a historic moment for the gay, lesbian and bisexual members of the GLBT community - after more than 30 years of advocacy promoting inclusion of sexual orientation in the civil rights laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on immutable characteristics such as race and gender, the United States House of Representatives passed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA). Democrats and Republicans passionately represented their views and those of their constituents for more than 4 hours during a debate broadcast on CSPAN, and finally voted on an amended version. The United States Senate must now pass legislation as well before it has the chance to be signed into law.

This has been an issue that the Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), indicated many months ago would be brought to the floor for a vote, and it has become quite a divisive issue since then. A previous post on the Allies Program blog had a link to an opinion article stemming from the decision of the Speaker and a leader in the ENDA fight for so many years, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), to remove gender identity and expression from the original bill that could have been voted on and postponed this matter until today. While one Representative, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), seemed to be making an effort to restore the gender identity language before the final vote, she withdrew her amendment before it could be voted on. During the past two months, many equality organizations at the national, state and local levels have formed a coalition supporting ENDA legislation that is inclusive of gender identity while one of the most prominent GLBT civil rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, became a black sheep among some of the community as its leadership refused to take the same aggressive position.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) released this statement that likely represents the disappointment of many of the organizations that formed the coalition. At the same time, the Human Rights Campaign acknowledged the vote with this statement, and this story was available on the New York Times website. It can be recognized as a bittersweet moment, but no one should deny the progress that this represents just as Speaker Pelosi points out in her comments - “History teaches us that progress on civil rights is never easy,” she said. “It is often marked by small and difficult steps.”